Park City’s season comes to an end at state tournament
Miners finish with 3 points as a team
Junior Coen Woolley dug himself a deep hole in his first match in the third singles bracket at the Class 5A state tournament on Thursday against Murray’s Jack Bowen.
Woolley was in control early and cruised to a victory in the first set. But plenty of mistakes piled up for him in the second set, and Bowen forced a third set. The start of the third set was similar to the second, and Woolley soon found himself with his back against the wall. He fought off multiple match points, came back and forced a tiebreaker. Woolley escaped with a 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(7) win.
“That was ugly,” he said. “Definitely one of the worst matches I’ve ever played. But, somehow pulled through, had a couple of break points and somehow kept up. I don’t know, it’s tough.”
Woolley’s comeback win was one of the highlights of a tough day at Liberty Park for the Miners. None of Park City’s five entries advanced past the second round to make it to the second day of the tournament. With nobody left to score points, Park City had a total of three points.
Still, Park City coach Justin DeLong was proud of his team’s efforts, even if Thursday’s matches didn’t turn out in the Miners’ favor.
“Overall, I feel really good because the season actually, I feel, was a success,” he said. “We, I wouldn’t say, did much better than expected, but we certainly didn’t do worse. And I thought we really gelled as a team. And we’ll look to come in the next year after playing all summer and all fall and coming in stronger.”
Woods Cross’ Jack Hinkle defeated Park City junior Dominic Jamrich in straight sets in the first round of the first singles bracket. Park City’s first doubles team of junior Henry Retzer and freshman Justus Zaino was also eliminated in the first round in straight sets.
Junior Kaj Christensen won his first match in the second singles bracket, as did Park City’s second doubles team of juniors Jake Farnell and Felix Schlegel to join Woolley in the second round. While they all lost their next match, DeLong is looking forward to having his juniors back as seniors next season. Along with Zaino, Park City should have everyone from the state tournament return next year.
“It’s super key to having a run at the state title next year,” DeLong said. “Six out of seven of our varsity players are juniors, so they’ll be seniors next year, and then we’ve got Justus also coming back.”
“I’m feeling good,” he added. “We’ll have a bunch of seniors next year, and I’m sure it will be easier to go further at state next year having one more year of experience behind us.”
The key to having a better season next year, as DeLong pointed out, is to make sure his players are playing year-round, especially for those who are trying to move up in the lineup.
“You just got to make it clear to them that you work throughout the year if you want to guarantee yourself a varsity spot,” he said. “Obviously, nothing is a guarantee. But if you’re playing varsity now and you work your tail off until next year, you’re probably going to play varsity again. And all of these guys really want to play varsity.”
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